As a growing number of countries are considering easing restrictions and gradually resuming onsite education, Education International stresses a set of five dimensions that should be considered by governments, in dialogue with educators and their unions, when planning this next phase of the response to the COVID-19 crisis in education.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted six conditions that should be met before governments start to lift current restrictions on social and physical movement related to the spread of COVID-19:
- Disease transmission is under control.
- Health systems are able to “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”.
- Hot spot risks are minimised in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes.
- Schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures.
- The risk of importing new cases “can be managed”.
- Communities are fully educated, engaged, and empowered to live under a new normal.
With schools and education institutions closed in a majority of countries, there are critical issues for governments to take into consideration, as countries gradually begin to re-open early childhood institutions, schools and higher education institutions. It is imperative that governments communicate transparently and continuously about the plans for reopening onsite education and the extent to which they are informed by the advice of health experts. Continuous social and policy dialogue with educators and their unions is the cornerstone of any successful education strategy.
- Engage in Social and Policy Dialogue
- Ensure the Health and Safety of Education Communities
- Make Equity a Top Priority
- Support Physical and Emotional Wellbeing and Recovery
- Trust the Professionalism of Educators